By a slim margin, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the GOP plan to replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act on Thursday, sending the bill to the Senate where it is likely to face stiffer opposition.
Republicans passed the bill by a vote of 217 to 213, one vote over the 216 needed. Twenty Republicans voted against the measure while every Democrat voted no.
President Donald Trump announced he will hold a “big press conference” at the White House in the wake of the new vote.
If victorious, Republicans will be having a big press conference at the beautiful Rose Garden of the White House immediately after vote!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2017
Republicans have been trying to build a GOP-only coalition to pass the bill since their last attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare failed nearly two months ago. A second attempt last week also failed.
Despite the Thursday vote, Obamacare will remain in place for the time being. The GOP bill will now head over to the Senate, where it will most likely be subject to significant changes.
Republicans in the Senate already expressed concerns about the bill, specifically how it would raise premiums for the elderly.
Among the bill’s most contentious changes: It would allow states to opt out of some Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions, one of the ACA’s most popular provisions.
The House measure was passed without an updated estimate of its impact. But the latest assessment suggested that 24 million people would lose their medical coverage.
The passage of the GOP plan has already been met with criticism from advocacy groups.
NARAL quickly blasted its condemnation in an email to reporters titled: “Healthcare Bill and Trump EO Throw Women Under the Bus.”
“President Trump and Congressional Republicans have shown once again their commitment to punishing and burdening women with every step they take,” NARAL said in the statement. “When they undermine and take away the healthcare we need as women, they’re clearly saying that women and our ability to plan and care for our families are not their priority. Giving money to their rich friends is. That is where they are so out of step with those they claim to represent.”